As floods shatter communities in India and Nepal, we provide lifesaving care to desperate animals

29 August 2017

Hundreds of thousands of animals including cows, buffalo, goats, pigs, chickens, dogs and cats are fighting for their lives in Nepal, and the north-eastern state of Assam in India, after devastating floods struck this month

Our teams are acting fast to help animals and their owners by leading mobile vet response teams and distributing emergency kits to at least 15,000 farm animals and pets in India, and 52,000 in Nepal.  

Our emergency vet care is vital to help reduce suffering for surviving animals, many of whom are starving or injured. Ensuring animals’ health will also ensure better recovery for thousands of flood-stricken people, who need healthy animals to keep their families out of extreme poverty.

As well as providing income and resource, animals can also offer companionship to their owners, especially at this awful, unsettled time.

Widespread, ongoing distress

Many of the animals the we’re treating are deeply traumatised and in shock, and a large number have broken limbs and are in extreme pain.

Our disaster project manager Hansen Thambi Prem said: "Animals are in dire need; injured, starving and at high risk of disease – the floods have damaged pastures for months to come, compounding the emergency with starvation.

"Governments and NGOs must recognise that when a disaster hits, people and animals' very survival, and eventual recovery, is intertwined. That is why we are on the ground to protect animals."

Credit: AFP/Biju Boro. An Indian woman holds a goat while sitting on a raft at the flood affected Koliabor village, some 186km from Guwahati the capital city of India’s northeastern state of Assam on August 13th, 2017.

Our disaster response teams in India and Nepal are:

  • providing immediate assistance to animals on the ground injured from the floods and meeting basic needs for survival,
  • giving out emergency vet kit items which include dressings and treatment for wounded animals, treatment for diarrhoea, pneumonia and other potential post flood diseases in Nepal, as well as mineral and health supplements, antibiotics, and more in India,
  • and assessing the wider and longer term needs for the animals in partnership with governments.

Protecting people and animals in the long-term

While disaster response rightly prioritises people’s immediate needs, the long-term recovery from disasters is inextricably linked with the well-being of their animals.

Communities and people affected by the floods in both Assam, India and Nepal heavily rely on agriculture to make ends meet and in this critical stage. By rescuing and treating animals affected by floods, we’re providing stability for the future of people and communities.

Keep an eye out for further updates our disaster response in India and Nepal as we continue our work there.

Header image credit: Reuters / Navesh Chitrakar

"Governments and NGOs must recognise that when a disaster hits, people and animals' very survival, and eventual recovery, is intertwined. That is why we are on the ground to protect animals."

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